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Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

art event: lange installed Nationals Stadium public art on OPENING DAY

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2010 at 11:45 am


Shauna Lee Lange was personally re-invited and commissioned by Akridge Real Estate to install a second year of public mural art panels at the entrance of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals Stadium on the occasion of the 2010 Grand Commencement OPENING DAY.  President Barack Obama threw out the first pitch of the season.   

The art panels project is designed in part to draw the public and local artists’ attention to the promise of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District’s plan for a revitalized Southeast DC.

In 2009, Lange’s installations of vintage chromolithograph collages (featuring Victorian vignettes) were received to high acclaim.   Following interest stemming from the project and international intrigue on the end-of-season work, Lange temporarily resorted to reclusivity to regroup and rethink the power and privilege of performing public art installations.  Lange initially did not declare what her 2010 installation would be, although it was rumored that her high-profile circle series (depicting amorphous cellular life forms) may make statements about interconnectivity.  

Lange is a self-taught, late-emergent, high-profile artist who is also the founder of an arts advisory and design studio serving the greater metropolitan DC area since 2006. She is an avid fan of public installation art and believes whole-heartedly that more art IS more love.   


art product review: pentel slicci .25mm

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Today’s a VERY sad day.  The pen I’ve been using for the last 4 months (you’ve read that correctly) has just died.  I had purchased my little pink Pentel Arts Slicci from Dick Blick on sale when I was trying out new art journaling pens back in the Summer of 09.  It’s a VERY thin, VERY lightweight plastic barreled – did I say THIN – roller-ball pen with ink deposits in the lower chamber of the barrel and not in the barrel itself as the pink coloring would have you think.  Point being, you can actually watch your Slicci wither away.  I have somewhat larger hands (from all my typing & art work as I like to say) and the very thin barrel felt like a dream.  

Made in Japan, it has a tight-fitting cap and the capability to help you draw VERY thin lines in a precise manner.  Ok – you may not believe this, but I used it primarily for two purposes, to underline bible verses written on VERY thin paper (and no it did not bleed) and also to take notes for a women’s class I’m in.  For writing, the gel ink on the rollerball is a bit on the scratchy side – you won’t be authoring any Pulitzers with this pen because it has a PRECISE metal tip – no blotting or skipping, but scratchy all the same – this one is not gliding along the paper.  For journaling, drawing, line and mark making however – this one is a good if not great bet.  You could fit a LOT of characters in a VERY small space with this pen, currently retailing from $2.50 – $3.00 and available in other colors.  

Goodbye Slicci.  I loved you!  

art resource: porchlight international

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm

If you are the family of a missing or unidentified person, Porchlight International is offering free websites to allow you to put a website on the internet in behalf of your missing or unidentified love one. http://www.missing-and-unidentified.org/announcement.html

today's locator tip: census bureau data

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2010 at 6:35 am

About four days ago, I was happily driving southbound on Duke Street and I nearly got careened by a light blue Census Bus the size of a regular city bus.   The driver was too rapidly pulling on and off the curb while dropping off teams of workers in the early am and well, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he couldn’t see my small RED car (even though I was beeping and making all sorts of Italian hand motions).  

Who knew the Census Bureau had buses?  The most ironic thing of all (other than the fact that the Census Bureau nearly ELIMINATED a human count) was the slogan printed on the side of this bus  “If we don’t know how many people are in the U.S., how do we know how many buses we need?”  Yeah.  I’m still pondering that one too.  

Well there’s good and bad news.  The Census Bureau has tons of data and may be able to help you with a current address, but you have to have a legal reason for the search and yes, Virginia, there IS a fee.  Now, there is an incredible number of online tools you can use to tabulate and map census data and be prepared, because this is going to take you some time.  

What I love is that the Census Bureau has rolled this information up into easily digestible fact sheets found here.  Searching by people data – that’s here.  Interested in housing data – that’s here.  Interested in business and manufacturing data (like the fact that in 2007 there were 21,169 registered mining establishments?)  that’s here.  Want to know more about the meta data (how they get the data) – that’s here.  Interested in prior year data sets?  That’s here.  Wanna see maps?  That’s here.  Want additional resources or add-on information sources (such as the International Trade Statistics or Population Pyramids) – that’s here.  Or, if you’re fed up with all the options, you can do a general search here.  

Hmmm.  Funny.  I searched on “complaint” and got no results.  Imagine that.  Can’t seem to file my “crazy driver” report.  Guess they’re too busy with important stuff.  U.S. Censuses (yes, that’s the plural) are taken every 10 years on years ending in zero.  Some specific information is released to the public some years later.  If you’re hell-bent on studying census data, be sure to check the LDS Family History Center and your state and its major cities.  Sometimes the city/state will do a mini-census on years ending in 5.  Here’s a very cool thing – if you were placed in adoption when you were five back in the 1920’s (yes, it’s possible), you could conceivably check the census to determine your family of origin size at the time of reporting.  Did you have brothers and sisters?  The Census folks know.  Or they should.

today's locator tip: federal prison system

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm

The Federal Bureau of Prisons allows you to search a complete nation-wide listing of federal prisons.  The site also carries some statistics, states where prisons are located, phone numbers and addresses.  If you are trying to communicate with someone in the prison system, one strategy is to ask the prison you believe the inmate is located to forward a simple, straightforward postcard which you’ve prestamped.  For example, you would complete a postcard to John Jones and say something like “trying to reach you” with your contact information.  Prison inmates have writing privileges, although mail may be censored.  Prisoners’ phone calls must be made collect.  

If you happen to know the prisoner’s ID number, you can also search the site based on that criteria.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is if your federal prisoner was released before 1982, records have to be searched by hand.  You can find more info here.  Now, maybe you’re wondering (like I was) what exactly defines a federal prisoner – who they are. A definition can be found here.  One important note, your individual may be awaiting trial for violating federal law.  Guess where they’ll be!  

If you’re not looking for a person, but rather you’d like to find a facility, that can be accomplished here.  Maybe you’re doing some other type of research and would like a breakdown of the population – such as that as of February 27, 2010, (and a fact I found very interesting) 208,799 residents called federal prison home and that almost exactly half are in the big house for drug offenses.  Overall, the Bureau of Prisons is a very easy site to use and will lead you in the right direction if you’re trying to find a needle in a haystack.  

Stay tuned here for more upcoming posts on other prison locator systems.  There are four prison systems in the U.S., federal (for persons convicted of violating federal laws); state (for those violating state laws and local statutes); county (for those awaiting trial on traffic violations or drunk driving, etc.); and city (for holding cells and minor over-night infractions). Your city and county jails probably have a records clerk who is charge of maintaining the data.  Also, some state records are public.  

Depending on the depth of your search (and this is something we do not specialize in), criminal records may contain place of birth, sex registry info, violations, court information, and police information & reports.  Let’s say you had a 38-year old Hispanic male you simply could not find elsewhere on the face of the Earth.  Well, now you know where they may be (ahem – and I hope not) hiding.

today's locator tip: news media yellow book

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2010 at 6:34 am

The News Media Yellow Book is a directory of major reporters, writers, bloggers, editors, and producers at the nation’s major national news media organizations.  You can search by name or by industry with the knowledge that the material is updated on a quarterly basis.  Leadership Directories now has an on-line version of the News Media Yellow Book known as the News Media Leadership Directory.  It is updated daily and operates as probably the most reliable news media database in existence today.  Subscriptions to the on-line version and the print option are pricey – you’ll want to check with your resource librarian or your local law library to see if they have a current subscription.

 I think it’s a great resource for anyone who may have had a media connection, may have achieved some notoriety or fame, or may have been an expert specialist in some field.  Odds are, one of the reporters paths have crossed theirs – especially if the person you’re seeking is living in modern times.  Let’s say the person you’re looking for is a needlepoint enthusiast and you’re trying to determine the magazines they might have read or subscribed to.  Well, you can also obtain older versions of the directory on eBay or Amazon.  Here’s an example of some of the print indexes available as posted on the website:

News Media Yellow Book Indexes

bullet  The Assignment Index lists journalists by 178 different assignments and includes title, media organization, and telephone number.
bullet  The Washington-Based Regional Assignment Index lists reporters in D.C., with title, media organization, and telephone number, by the state they cover. 
bullet  The Online Media Index lists 504 online media organizations such as Salon.com and iVillage, and online divisions of other media, including Billboard.com, NYTimes.com, and influential blogs such as Daily Kos.
bullet  The Program Index lists television and radio programs by subject and program type.
bullet  The Periodical Index lists magazines and newsletters by over 75 subjects.
bullet  The Geographical Index lists all the media organizations in the book, including both headquarters and bureaus, by state and city. Non-U.S. media are listed by country and city. 
bullet  The Name Index lists all the individuals in the book alphabetically by name. 
bullet  The Media Index lists all the media organizations in the book alphabetically by name.

today's locator tip: surname search

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

You can learn a lot by looking at a visual representation of the census data as distributed over the U.S. Map.  The folks at hamrick.com have created a nifty little tool that allows you to plug-in a last name (and a census year date).  

The engine comes back with that name’s distribution within the 50 states – by state.  It’s not an exact science, but it’ll give you a good idea.  When we typed in “Lange” we learned that only 1 in about 5,000 people had the name in New York in 1850.  The 1990 data is currently the most accurate.  This tool is particularly handy when you’re trying to locate family lines and have little to no information.  When I typed in my maiden name, I learned that at one time, many of us were congregated in Texas!  Imagine that y’all!

today's locator tip: selective service system

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2010 at 6:32 am

The Selective Service System maintains a vast records repository.  Changes to the system and the information publicly available are constantly  in motion.  The information below is from the government website and is current as of 2007.  It covers how to get information from the service.  Almost all male U.S. citizens, and male aliens living in the U.S., who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service. Certain qualifiers (or disqualifiers) apply for special circumstances.  

The system is designed to preserve American’s ability to provide manpower to the U.S. Armed Forces in an emergency.  The Service keeps records on men currently registered.  Records for men born before 1960 are held at the National Archives.  The Service now maintains records in accordance with the Privacy Act – therefore no information will be available on address, phone, or social without the written consent of the registrant.  Here are some tips below but before you check them, know that some county records are also available in some main libraries.


To obtain your own, or someone else’s, Selective Service number, call Selective Service at (847) 688-6888. Your call will be answered by an automated voice processing system. You must know the individual’s social security number and date of birth to use this system.

WORLD WIDE WEB HOMEPAGE – http://www.sss.gov

Information available on the Selective Service System’s Web site includes: the Agency’s Annual Reports to Congress (from 1996 to present), answers to “Frequently Asked Questions,” how to register, what happens if a man doesn’t register, what happens if there is a draft, and additional publications. An online registration form is also available.


Some of this information is available on the Selective Service’s Web site at http://www.sss.gov.

More detailed information is made available to the public in the Selective Service System’s Annual Reports to Congress, which have been issued annually or semiannually since 1940. These are available at Federal Depository Libraries nationwide. Ask your local library for the address of a Federal Depository Library nearest you.


Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations can be found in 36 CFR 1662. A copy can be obtained by writing to:

Selective Service System
National Headquarters
Records Division 
Arlington, VA 22209-2425

Records of registrants who were born on or before March 29, 1957*

Classification Record

Description: Shows a registrant’s name, local board number, his classifications, and the dates he received the classifications. A registrant’s classification usually indicates whether or not he was drafted.

How to Obtain a Copy: The classification record is public information, which is available to anyone who asks for it. Requesters must provide the registrant’s full name, date of birth, and address at the time of registration (usually when the registrant was 18 years old). Write to:

National Archives & Records Administration 
 Archival Programs 
P.O. Box 28989
St. Louis, MO 63132-0989

Members of the news media should also write to the National Archives.

Registration Card

Description: Shows a registrant’s name, date of birth, home address, and Selective Service registration number. A registration card may include additional information like a phone number and/or marital status.

How to Obtain a Copy: The registration card is protected under the Privacy Act. To obtain a copy, a requester must be the registrant himself or show written permission from the registrant. If the registrant is deceased, provide a copy of the registrant’s death certificate. Also provide the registrant’s full name, date of birth, and address (including county, if known) at the time of registration.

Write to:

National Archives & Records Administration 
 Archival Programs 
P.O. Box 28989
St. Louis, MO 63132-0989

Records of registrants who were born on or after January 1, 1960

Registration Card

Description: Shows a registrant’s name, date of birth, home address, phone number, social security number, and Selective Service registration number.

How to Obtain a Copy: The registration card is protected under the Privacy Act. To obtain a copy, a requester must be the registrant himself, or show written permission from the registrant, or provide proof that the registrant is deceased. A caller may verify that a man is registered and/or obtain a registrant’s Selective Service number and the date he registered by calling Selective Service at (847) 688-6888 and providing the registrant’s social security number and date of birth. The information may also be obtained by writing to:

Selective Service System
Data Management Center 

P.O. Box 94638
Palatine, IL 60094-4638

* Men born from March 29, 1957, through December 31, 1959, were never required to register because the registration program was not in operation at the time they turned 18. The requirement to register was reinstated in 1980, and applies to all men born on or after January 1, 1960.

GILS – Government Information Locator Service

A way to identify, locate, and describe publicly available federal information resources, including electronic information resources. Each GILS record provides a thorough description of the information resource, including what information is available and why it was created; how the information is made available for use; who to contact for further information; and, in some cases, a direct electronic link to the information itself. Selective Service GILS information can be obtained on our GILS page at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gils/browse.html

today's locator tip: deceased overseas service members

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm

The American Battle Monuments Commission (established in 1923) provides information on service members buried in overseas cemeteries.  It offers searches in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and other burial listings and holds records since 1917.  ABMC’s databases contain only the names of those interred or memorialized at the overseas American military cemeteries and memorials under their care. These databases do not contain the names of war dead returned to the U.S. for permanent interment at national or private cemeteries.

Contact information is:

  1. You may contact us by e-mail at info@abmc.gov 
  2. You may write to:

    American Battle Monuments Commission
    Courthouse Plaza II, Suite 500
    2300 Clarendon Boulevard
    Arlington, VA 22201

  3. You may call: (703) 696-6900

 If you cannot locate the person you are searching for using ABMC’s online databases, you can contact the address below.  Most requests take about four weeks for a reply. Be sure to include your return mailing address, phone number or Internet e-mail address with your request and send it to:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
National Cemetery Administration (41C1)
Burial Location Request
810 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20420

I would recommend that you be sure to provide the following information on each person:

  • Full name, including any alternate spellings
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date and place of death
  • State from which the individual entered active duty
  • Military service branch

today's locator tip: fictitious business names

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2010 at 12:01 pm

If you’re searching for someone you believe may have operated a business under a fictitious business name, you’ll want to check the county business licensing records.  Many of these records will be open and some may be available by mail for a small fee.  Many banks will not open an account for an entrepreneur in any other name than a birth name or name that carries with it other documentation.  Fictitious names are sometimes called assumed name statements, trading as, or a “Doing Business As (DBA)”.  

The fictitious business name allows you to legally conduct business as a particular name at minimal cost.  You do not have to create an entirely new business entity. You can accept payments, advertise, and otherwise present yourself under that name. It may in fact be considered fraud if you present your business under a name other than your proper legal name without proper notification. Filing for an assumed name is so easy and inexpensive, there’s really no reason for not filing one and the likelihood that someone you’re looking for has taken this small step increases with the length of time they may have owned the business.  Here’s what you should find with the business licensing records:

– business owner’s name

– fictitious business name and address

– home address

– associates or references names and addresses

– whether the business is incorporated and in what state

– ownership arrangements (general partnership, joint venture, etc.)

– type of business

In some states you may also be required to register your assumed name with a state agency, but in most, registration is handled at the county level.  Each county may have different forms and fees for registering a name. The steps are easy.  One normally performs a database search to ensure the name is not already in use.  You submit a simple form, along with the correct filing fee where applicable.  Some states also require that you publish a notice in your local newspaper and submit an affidavit to show that you have fulfilled the publication requirement – this may be another resource for those looking for individuals. 

The name of the business itself can yield some powerful clues about the person you are searching.  Since proper use of a fictitious business name can be a powerful branding tool, most business people are advised to take advantage of it by choosing a great, easily identifiable name and then to use it at every opportunity.  If you’re searching in Florida for someone and you determine the business name might have been Gator’s Gardening, I would think it could be an indicator that your business owner may have also been a sports fanatic.  And sports fanatics go to sporting events, buy season tickets, read sports magazines, shop at team stores, etc.  Now you’re thinking!